In an interview on Thursday, September 7, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stated that the Trump administration would rescind Title IX for schools, “The process is an extended one,” DeVos added, “But it is the intention to revoke or rescind the previous guidance around this.”
Title IX has helped sexual violence victims seek justice since 2011. Title IX essentially states that there must be a notification of any discrimination based on one’s sex, and there also be notification of any discrimination or harassment, in educational settings or work settings. The act also helps those who experience more than discrimination, like harassment or violence. Basically the act was set forth to stop any harmful sexual act and help those in harm. It is not limited to one gender either.
Title IX has helped many people take back their lives. Ignoring those who are harassed and abused could lead to many different consequences. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 63 percent of cases go unreported, and that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. This is most likely because of the fear of what could happen if the victim reported the crime. There is a fear of no one believing them or their harasser not facing any punishment. Health effects of sexual harassment or violence can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, increase in blood pressure, sleep problems, and suicide.
DeVos is attempting to rescind Title IX from the educational sphere, but colleges and secondary educational settings are where sexual misconduct is most rampant. It was calculated that 21 percent of undergraduates at university faced sexual assault. But still many college students will not report cases, maybe because alcohol or drugs may be involved or because there were no witnesses, or more likely because the criminals still don’t face punishment.
“A student found to have likely committed a sexual assault is only expelled from school in fewer than one-third of cases, according to a 2014 HuffPost analysis. Students were suspended in fewer than half of the cases in which they were found responsible for sexual assault… Most universities, even if they do expel or suspend someone for sexual assault, do not mark that punishment on the student’s transcript.”
The overturn of Title IX has many advocates besides the Trump Administration.
Some say it is anti-male, since predominantly men are accused of rape and are punished as a result. In one article that displays how Title IX is harmful for some, it is stated that “The other side of facts and evidence will actually show you that sometimes the wrong person is accused, incidents can be filed without the knowledge of either party involved, sometimes complaints are filed out of vengeance, some are filed because “all drunk sex is rape”, and occasionally, a false report is made.” Being falsely accused of a crime such as sexual assault can result in expulsion from schools, or termination or jobs and ultimately being branded a rapist or assaulter your whole life.
But false accusations are rare, at a 2-10%. And most of the false accusations are not from a scorned or angry “victim” but from a concerned parent. So why would the Trump’ administration rescind an act that has helped many victims receive justice?
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